Tuesday, October 23, 2018

With Love Inside . . .

I've had many different experiences
. . . and felt many things.
That's all part of me now.

– Carl Anderson
(June 1988)

Today I celebrate 53 years of, in the words of the late, great Carl Anderson, "many different experiences and feelings." . . . Yes, fifty-three years of life on this beautiful planet . . . and of connection to some truly inspiring people and communities. For all of this I am grateful beyond measure.

And as has been the tradition at The Wild Reed, I mark the occasion of my birthday by sharing a song or prayer or reflection that I find particularly meaningful.

On my 44th birthday, for instance, I shared Stephan Gately's performance of "No Matter What," and when I turned 45 I shared "Where the Truth Lies" by the band Exchange. In 2012, when I turned 47, I shared a prayer for balance at a very trying time, not only for me, but for many of us here in Minnesota. Two years ago, on the first day of my fiftieth year, I shared a "guidepost on the journey," and then on the day of my 50th birthday I shared Buffy Sainte-Marie's rousing "It's My Way." Last year I shared a beautiful poem by John O'Donohue.

This year I share a song by Carl Anderson, whose music I've been collecting and enjoying for the last six months or so. This particular song is the closing track of Carl's 1988 album, An Act of Love.

Entitled "Love Is (The Love Song)," this track is a beautiful and powerful meditation on the mystery of love, something I've been pondering and wrestling with for a while now, as attested by previous Wild Reed posts (see here, here, and here).

I guess it's also something I'm seeking, rather like a hidden spring in a forgotten ravine . . .

Perhaps more about all of this in a future post. For now, though, here's the incomparable Carl Anderson with "Love Is" . . . followed by some images of various birthday celebrations I experienced this year! Enjoy!

Tho' I speak with the tongues of men and of angels
And have not love
I have become as a sounding brass or a tingling symbol
And tho' I have the gift of prophesy
And understand all mysteries and all knowledge
And tho' I have all faith
So that I can move mountains
But have not love
I am nothing

In your thirst to find love
You’d better be aware
Love has no warning signs; it can show up anywhere
Love has no boundaries; has its own power source
Love has a way of charting its own course

With love inside your spirit shines
When you’re in doubt, love’s the answer
When love decides, you can’t hide
What love provides is eternal

Once love touches you, surely then you’ll know
All the joy that love provides from where all blessings flow
When you wear love’s banner, it protects you with its shield
Love can open any door and any truth reveal

With love inside your spirit shines
When you’re in doubt, love’s the answer
When love decides, you can’t hide
What love provides is eternal

Love suffereth long and is kind
Love is not proud but
Beareth all things
Believeth all things
Hopeth all things
Endureth all things

I love you, yes I do
I won't let nothing stand in our way

When I was a child I spoke as a child
I understood as a child
I thought as a child
But when I became a man I put away childish things
For now we see through a glass darkly
But then, face to face
Now I know in part; but then shall I know
Even as I am known
And now abideth
Faith, hope, love
These three
But the greatest of these
Is love

With love inside your spirit shines
When you’re in doubt, love’s the answer
When love decides, you can’t hide
What love provides is eternal

Left: My birthday week kicked off on the evening of Sunday, October 21 with a delicious meal with my friend Mahad at Fasika, an award-winning Ethiopian restaurant in Saint Paul.

Right: My boyfriend Brent and I with British soul singer Lisa Stansfield – Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis, Monday, October 22, 2018.

Lisa was in town as part of her "Go Deeper" tour of North America, and our VIP tickets to her Minneapolis show the night before my birthday were a gift from Brent. What a sweet and generous guy!

Above: Lisa Stansfield in concert – Minneapolis, October 22, 2018.

Above: A birthday morning coffee with my friend Hae
– Minneapolis, October 23, 2018.

On Saturday, October 27, my friend Deandre (right) took me out for my birthday to the Mall of America. Later that night we met up with Brent and friends Pete and Jeffrey to see A Star Is Born at West End in St. Louis Park, MN (above).

Above: With my friends John and Noelle – Sunday, October 28, 2018.

Above: Friends Phil, Dee, Liana, and Silvie – Sunday, October 28, 2018.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
On This "Echoing-Day" of My Birth
Turning 50
A Guidepost on the Journey
In the Eye of the Storm, a Tree of Living Flame
Journeying Into the Truth . . . Valiantly, of Course
No Matter What

For more of Carl Anderson at The Wild Reed, see:
Carl Anderson: "One of the Most Enjoyable Male Vocalists of His Era"
Carl Anderson
Revisiting a Groovy Jesus (and a Dysfunctional Theology)

Opening image: A still from the music video for Carl Anderson's 1990 song, "How Deep Does It Go."
An Act of Love album cover photography: Phillip Dixon.
All other images: Michael Bayly and friends.

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